From the team at Kona Earth, we wish you a happy and prosperous 2023! Here’s to fresh beginnings, meaningful connections, and rewarding experiences. We are so incredibly grateful for the support of our customers, friends, and families. Without them, this Kona coffee adventure wouldn’t be possible.
As the clock strikes midnight and we welcome the new year, we’re filled with excitement for what lies ahead. With a renewed sense of hope, optimism, and anticipation, we look forward to all that 2023 has in store.
Our Year in Review
At Kona Earth, we're thankful for everything 2022 has taught us. As newcomers to the Kona coffee scene, we've received tremendous support from our fellow farmers. We've called upon our new friends often for advice on everything from farming best practices to processing methods. We even called in the "Kona cavalry" to help us troubleshoot a dysfunctional roaster.
We've developed an essential farm labor support system, most notably our dedicated team of pickers and our Kona coffee consultant extraordinaire, 5th-generation Costa Rican coffee farmer, Arturo Ballar.
Co-owner Steve Wynn has put tremendous effort into improving the farm infrastructure; adding new equipment including a tractor, chipper, sprayer, and fertilizer spreader - plus a new dryer and roaster. This sizable capital investment has paid dividends - both in improved crop performance and overall efficiency. The trees are healthier than ever. In the coming months, he'll be pruning and suckering each tree to encourage new growth and optimize this year's harvest.
Our inaugural Kona harvest of 2022 was truly special. We spent countless hours dialing in the fundamentals of coffee production, from pulping and drying the beans to properly storing the green coffee in our temperature and humidity-controlled storage room. The coffee tasted amazing, and we were thrilled with the results. We are confident that 2023 will be even better, as we continue to refine our craft and learn more about Kona's unique growing conditions.
On the business side, Joanie Wynn managed shipping and fulfillment & customer support for the online store, along with marketing and administration. Her focus is to grow their retail business while maintaining the unique blend of quality and personal service that sets Kona Earth apart from the competition.
Joanie is always looking for fun new ways to package their products, especially as gift sets that customers love. One fan favorite is the Kona Earth coffee & chocolate bundle, which combines 100% Kona coffee with Kona dark chocolate made with cacao from the farm. In addition, her Kona-inspired spa sets include coffee scrubs and soaps. Kona Earth branded hats, mugs, and Airscape coffee canisters round out the website offerings.
In the past year, Joanie also put a lot of effort into refurbishing the farmhouse - making it a cheerful and welcoming place for visitors. The exterior was painted a bright yellow. The interior was refreshed with new rattan furniture and artwork. One important add-on was new bistro tables and stools on the deck so customers can relax with a great cup of Kona coffee and take in the Pacific ocean view.
We were thrilled to partner with San Jose Country Club offer our 100% Kona coffee to their members. Apparently, it's a huge hit in the Pro Shop where golfers fuel up before hitting the green.
Steve and Joanie also dipped their toe into wholesale green sales, partnering with larger roasteries such as Big Island Roasters, Bad Ass Coffee, & Maui Coffee Company. Though their preference is to sell farm-direct roasted coffee to consumers, selling some of the excess green beans enables them to reinvest in planting new areas of the farm. Of the 26 acres on the Kona Earth farm, only 10 are planted with coffee, so there's lots of room for growth.
This year, we're thrilled to continue providing our customers with the highest quality single-estate, 100% Kona coffee. We will continue to small-batch roast our whole-bean coffee and ship it farm-direct for supreme freshness. We’re looking forward to experimenting with new coffee processing techniques, and introducing more exciting products that you'll love!
We will maintain our commitment to giving back with our Care In Every Cup program. This year, we partnered with the Big Island non-profit Kohala Center to support local reef preservation efforts at Kahalu'u Bay.
We will continue to innovate toward sustainable farming methods, employing solar power, composting, and using recyclable materials wherever possible.
In the first quarter of 2023, we plan to open for tours and are putting the finishing touches on the farmhouse for use as our visitor center. In addition to farm tours, we'll have coffee tastings and a store where customers can purchase our products. Stay tuned for more details as we get closer to launch!
Kona Earth has come a long way in the past year, and we're only just getting started. We can't wait to see what the future holds! We promise to keep you updated as we continue our journey toward creating a world-class Kona coffee experience. Cheers!
Congrats you two! Let’s see about bringing some green beans over for a special blend here. Contact info?
Congratulations, Steve and Joanie! I’m sure this was a ton of work getting the business off the ground, but I hope it’s also been fun. All the best to you in 2023!
Much love, Jill